I have made excellent progress on the box car project but there have been setbacks and mistakes. Plenty of them in fact. An example is seen here as I had to remove several of the exterior posts on each side of the model. They had two issues that were not going to go away on their own.

Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.

Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.

 

The first issue was discovered after I installed the transition pieces along the edge of the roof. There was a gap because several of the posts were too short. I honestly do not know how that happened but the evidence was undeniable. The second issue was at the bottom of the posts where they laid over the weld bead between the side sills and the reinforcing plate on top. There was another gap as the posts could not lay flat against the car side thanks to the bead and an 0.005″ offset between the thickness of car side and the reinforcing plate. The gaps and the resulting bowed appearance were ugly. Yes, that is the word. Ugly.

In true fashion I thought I could simply plug in some filler material, smooth it out and move forward again. This proved (as it always does) to be more work and bother than it was worth. So, a couple of days after I applied them, I removed the offending posts, cleaned up the car side and made new posts, all in a fraction of the time covering up my mistakes would have taken. Less than an hour later and the problem was gone.

Why do we do this?
This project has been an ongoing classroom for me. I have not only learned new techniques and materials but I have also come face-to-face with my own habitual thought process. I have not been thrilled with the way I approach situations like this. Gradually, ever so gradually, I am moving away from that habit but, it is a slow and frustrating journey. Anyone who has tried to kick a long-term habit knows what I am talking about.

I did not want to redo the posts because I convinced myself it was too much work. Covering up the errors seemed the easier, more pragmatic way. The reality (as I invariably discover) was simpler than my internal talk made it out to be. The posts popped off easily by slipping an X-acto knife blade into the gap and running it up the post. Despite being glued with gel CA the whole removal process took only minutes. Cleaning up the glue and filler residue was also quick and painless thanks to the brass sheets. Styrene sheet would not have survived without substantial damage.

In all, this is one more example of how we are our own worst enemies. The only thing standing in the way of my doing the quality of work I long to do is the gray matter between my ears. It is my attitude, approach and fear (yes fear) of doing the work that needs to be done that truly blocks my progress as a modeler. It is not my capacity, not my skill level, not the material or the tools or lack of tools or all the other excuses. It rests with me and, that is something I can change with effort and time.

Regards,
Mike